There has been great consternation about the Tigers offense over these first few weeks, and rightly so. With things starting to take off, I wanted to step back and recognize the start that Guillen has put together.
How many times have we heard during the complaints about the offense that Clete Thomas and Brandon Inge were the only Tigers hitting? And then we’d laugh at how pathetic it was. Yet all the while Guillen was producing. And not just doing okay, he was terrific.
Going into Wednesday night’s game Guillen had a .372 batting average – 5th in the AL. He had a .698 slugging percentage which was second in the AL. And he was the owner of a .481 OBP which was good enough for 3rd. He ranked second in OPS to only AJ Pierzynski. And he did the bulk of the damage with one leg. He’s managed to hit 5 doubles without being able to run. When there was frustration with the team rushing at-bats it was Guillen who was seeing over 4 pitches per plate appearance.
Yet those accomplishments went largely unnoticed. Maybe it was because he didn’t have gaudy RBI totals, or maybe it was the rather normal home run total. Or maybe he just hadn’t been clutch enough, despite hitting that game tying homer on Opening Day. Yet one of the 2 or 3 best offensive performers in the league was largely unnoticed even by his own fan base.
With the offense starting to roll and Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez finding their groove they will deservedly get the bulk of the attention. But when no one else was producing Guillen was carrying the load.